Hui Muslims and the “Xinjiang Model” of State Suppression of Religion

March 29, 2021

Summary (PDF)

Despite the relative freedom from Chinese government restrictions Hui Muslims experienced in recent history, official Chinese government rhetoric and policy has become less tolerant toward practice and expression of Islamic identity among Hui Muslim individuals and communities. The restrictions on Islam among Hui Muslim individuals and communities are increasingly similar to restrictions experienced by Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). In addition to being detained along with Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and others in the XUAR’s mass internment camps, Hui Muslims are subject to what some have called the “Xinjiang Model” of intrusive and repressive religious policies. This policy shift is due in part to Chinese officials’ conflation of Islamic identity and extremism and the Chinese government’s campaign to “sinicize” Islam.

Repression of Islam in the XUAR

In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), the Chinese Communist Party has implemented a campaign of repression and control that, according to scholars and rights groups,[1] constitutes crimes against humanity.[2] Experts have documented a large network of mass internment camps in the XUAR in which authorities are said to have arbitrarily detained up to 1.8 million individuals from predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Hui.[3] Individuals have been detained in mass internment camps and held in formal detention for actions related to Islam that are protected under international law.[4] Reasons for detention included the following:

  • being a “Muslim who had a beard”;[5]
  • saying “God is great” at a funeral;[6]
  • being able to read the Quran;[7]
  • performing religious activities without a permit;[8]
  • working as Muslim clergy;[9]
  • having Islamic digital content on one’s phone or computer;[10]
  • performing a religious wedding ceremony;[11]
  • praying;[12]
  • performing traditional funeral rites;[13]
  • giving a sermon;[14]
  • allowing employees to listen to sermons;[15]
  • having previously participated in the Hajj;[16]
  • enrolling one’s child in religious classes;[17]
  • studying Islam at an Egyptian university;[18]
  • traveling to or living in predominantly Muslim countries; [19]
  • having a deceased family member who was a Uyghur religious scholar;[20]
  • having a family member who performed religious activities;[21] and
  • posting about Islam on the messaging service WeChat.[22]

Authorities have also detained individuals for interacting with persons listed on a government “blacklist”;[23] having relatives who study abroad;[24] attempting to emigrate or speaking about emigrating from China;[25] and having a journalist family member who reported on the XUAR.[26]

Outside the camps, members of predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups in the XUAR face extreme levels of surveillance; restrictions on freedom of movement, expression, and religion; forced political indoctrination; forced labor; widespread, systematic forced sterilizations and birth control; and forced placement of children in state-run orphanages and boarding schools.[27] Recent reporting has revealed the large scale of the mass internment camp system and the continued detention of Muslims despite official assertions to the contrary.[28] Reporting from 2020 found that the Chinese government had destroyed hundreds of mosques and sacred sites in the XUAR since 2017.[29]

Unique Status of Hui Muslims in China

According to the 2010 census, more than 10.5 million Hui reside throughout China[30] and constitute significant portions of the population in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).[31] Hui individuals speak a variety of local dialects,[32] and in contrast to Turkic groups in China, the Hui are often described as Mandarin speakers.[33] Anthropologist Dru Gladney compares the identity of the Hui to other minorities in Chinese society this way: “The Hui are unique among the 55 identified nationalities in China in that they are the only one for whom religion (Islam) is the only unifying category of identity, even though many members of the Hui nationality may not practise Islam.”[34]

International media reports have highlighted the disparity in official policies toward, and treatment of, Hui Muslims and Uyghur Muslims. Reports stressed the government’s comparative tolerance of Hui Muslim religious practices and government programs incentivizing Hui-owned business ventures,[35] and the promotion of Hui communities in China as a “cultural bridge” between foreign Muslim communities and China.[36] One 2017 Freedom House report stated that

Routine elements of Muslim practice that are common around the world are quite visible among Hui, but severely restricted and even criminalized for Uighurs. These include mosques using loudspeakers to summon Muslims to Friday prayers, believers fasting during Ramadan, adolescents studying at madrassas, children accompanying parents to prayers, individuals watching educational videos on Islamic teachings, or men growing beards and women wearing headscarves.[37]
 

Official Repression of Islam and Hui Muslim Communities

Detention of Hui Individuals in the XUAR

Like Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities, authorities held Hui individuals in formal detention and mass internment camps in the XUAR for actions related to Islam that are protected under international law.[38] Reasons for detention included the following:

  • advocating for religious freedom for Muslims;[39]
  • reading the Quran in a mosque;[40]
  • teaching the Quran via WeChat;[41]
  • conducting an Islamic funeral;[42]
  • viewing online religious media content;[43]
  • funding mosque construction;[44]
  • “privately preaching the Quran;”[45] and
  • living and studying in Pakistan.[46]

Hui individuals have also been detained in mass internment camps for contacting a landlord abroad via WhatsApp,[47] and using a virtual private network.[48]

Repression of Hui Individuals and Communities Outside of the XUAR

In addition, officials throughout China have targeted Hui Muslims and Hui Muslim communities with restrictions and repression similar to that experienced by Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR.[49] International observers and Hui community members have stated that the repression of Islam in the XUAR (often called the “Xinjiang Model”) appears to have spread beyond the XUAR to Hui communities living in other locations.[50] Authorities outside of the XUAR have formally imprisoned Hui religious figures[51] and detained Hui individuals for sharing materials related to the Quran online,[52] criticizing restrictions on Islamic religious practices,[53] buying Islamic books,[54] performing the Hajj pilgrimage,[55] traveling abroad,[56] and resisting the destruction of a mosque.[57] Hui Muslims outside of the XUAR whose identity documents were registered in the XUAR have also been sent to prison or reeducation camps in the XUAR.[58]

Similar to the restriction and suppression of expressions of Islamic faith in the XUAR,[59] officials in areas with large Hui populations have implemented policies and restrictions limiting Hui Muslims’ ability to practice their religion and culture.[60] In locations throughout China, (including Beijing municipality, Gansu, Henan, Jilin, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Yunnan, and Zhejiang provinces, as well as the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region) officials have closed mosques, demolished or removed minarets, domes, and other Islamic features from mosques and placed surveillance cameras inside them, closed Islamic schools, and restricted Islamic preaching, clothing, Arabic script, halal food, and use of the Islamic financial system.[61]

Change in Official Policies Toward Hui Muslims

Chinese authorities previously allowed Hui Muslim communities and individuals limited freedom to practice their religious beliefs; however, authorities have recently implemented policies increasingly similar to those restricting Islam in the XUAR.[62] This increased similarity is likely due in part to Chinese officials’ conflation of Islamic identity and extremism as well as the Chinese government campaign to “sinicize” Islam.

Officials Often Conflate Islam and Extremism

After the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and the subsequent international response to global terrorism, the PRC increasingly used what was described by the human rights organization Amnesty International in 2004 as the pretext of anti-terrorism to justify its restrictions on basic expressions of religious and ethnic identity by Uyghurs in the XUAR.[63] A number of violent attacks have occurred in China,[64] but reports indicate that authorities often conflate such terrorism with the peaceful expression of religious and cultural identity.[65] In September 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was “alarmed” by “numerous reports of the detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities” … “under the pretext of countering religious extremism” for “even non-threatening expressions of Muslim ethno-religious culture, such as a daily greeting.”[66] Human rights organizations have noted that while restrictions on religious freedom are common in China, those placed on Uyghur Muslims are more severe compared to other religious groups.[67]

In recent years officials and others have made calls to counter an alleged increase in Muslim extremist influence among Hui Muslims.[68] State Administration for Religious Affairs Director Wang Zuo’an stated in November 2016 that “Islamic extremism” was spreading to China’s “inland provincial areas” where many Hui live.[69] Domestic online commentators have also warned about Islam’s corrupting influence in society and criticized China’s restrictions on Hui Muslim believers as being too lax relative to restrictions on Uyghur Muslims in the XUAR.[70] One scholar on Islam in China noted that in China, “[i]nterest groups have actively promoted Islamophobia in interior regions in order to create a nationwide environment that justifies Xinjiang’s anti-terrorism campaign.”[71] Reports have also indicated the rise of Salafism, an ultra-conservative Sunni sect, in both the Hui and Uyghur Muslim communities, and described government actions to limit the growth of Salafism in China due to concerns over its alleged ties to extremism.[72]

In one example indicating the potential expansion of counterterrorism policies from Uyghur communities to Hui Muslim communities, a top Party leader from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, home to over 2 million Hui,[73] visited the XUAR in late 2018.[74] The Party leader praised the region’s counterterrorism and “stability maintenance” measures and signed an agreement to cooperate on counterterrorism and stability maintenance.[75] One of the leaders the delegation visited was then Deputy Secretary of the XUAR Zhu Hailun, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in July 2020 for his “connection with serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in [the XUAR].”[76]

The “Sinicization” of Islam

In 2015, Party General Secretary Xi Jinping announced “the need to uphold the sinicization of religion in order to actively guide religions to adapt to socialist society.”[77] The resulting “sinicization” campaign aims to bring religion in China under closer Party control and in line with officially sanctioned interpretations of Chinese culture.[78] Christians and Muslims in China have been particular targets of the sinicization campaign due to government fears of foreign influence and extremism.[79] In various platforms, the Chinese government has called on Muslims throughout China to promote “sinicization” and resist the “Arabization,” “Saudization,” and the “generalization of halal” in their communities.[80] International reporting has linked government statements on “sinicization” of Islam to the crackdown on Islamic practices and the destruction, closure, and alteration of buildings.[81]

This “sinicization” campaign has extended to Hui communities in the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province.[82] Linxia is often described as China’s “Little Mecca,”[83] and has a thriving Hui Muslim community with a majority Muslim population, a significant number of mosques, and visible displays of Muslim dress.[84] However, as part of the “sinicization” campaign, authorities in Linxia and the surrounding villages have:

  • demolished mosques;[85]
  • replaced Arabic-style minarets with Chinese-style ones;[86]
  • stopped restaurants from using the word “halal” in Arabic to reduce Arab influence;[87]
  • prohibited the Muslim call to prayer;[88] and
  • prevented children from attending Arabic or religious schooling.[89]

Endnotes

 


 

[1] Elizabeth Lynch, “China’s Attacks on Uighur Women Are Crimes against Humanity,” editorial, Washington Post, October 21, 2019; Kate Cronin-Furman, “China Has Chosen Cultural Genocide in Xinjiang—For Now,” Foreign Policy, September 19, 2018; Kate Cronin-Furman, “About Me,” Personal Website of Kate Cronin-Furman, accessed February 13, 2020; Uyghur Human Rights Project, “Universal Children’s Day 2018: China Must Reunite Uyghur Children and Parents. Forcible Placement of Children of Living Parents in State-Run Facilities Constitutes a Crime against Humanity,” November 19, 2018; Gene A. Bunin, “Detainees Are Trickling Out of Xinjiang’s Camps,” Foreign Policy, January 18, 2019; Michael Caster, “At Davos, the Message of ‘Globalization 4.0’ Must Include a Rebuke of China’s Ethnic Cleansing in Xinjiang,” Hong Kong Free Press, January 21, 2019; Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, “The Persecution of the Uighurs and Potential Crimes against Humanity in China,” April 8, 2019, 2.

[2] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, A/CONF.183/9, July 17, 1998, entry into force July 1, 2002, art. 7; CECC, 2020 Annual Report, December, 2020, 300–301.

[3] See, e.g., Adrian Zenz, “China Didn’t Want Us to Know. Now Its Own Files Are Doing the Talking.,” New York Times, editorial, November 24, 2019; Adrian Zenz, “Xinjiang’s Re-Education and Securitization Campaign: Evidence from Domestic Security Budgets,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, November 5, 2018, 4; Fergus Ryan, Danielle Cave, and Nathan Ruser, “Mapping Xinjiang’s ‘Re-Education’ Camps,” International Cyber Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, November 1, 2018; Human Rights Watch, “China,” in World Report 2019: Events of 2018, 2019, 142; Gene A. Bunin, “Kyrgyz Students Vanish into Xinjiang’s Maw,” Foreign Policy, March 31, 2019; Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley, “‘Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims,” New York Times, November 16, 2019; Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020. For information from the previous reporting year, see CECC, 2018 Annual Report, October 10, 2018, 273–83; CECC, 2019 Annual Report, November 18, 2019, 266–275.

[4] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of December 10, 1948, arts. 18, 19; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of December 16, 1966, entry into force March 23, 1976, arts. 18, 19. Article 18 of the ICCPR upholds a person’s right to “have or adopt a religion or belief” and the freedom to manifest that religion or belief “in worship, observance, practice and teaching.” Article 18 also prohibits coercion that impairs an individual’s freedom to freely hold or adopt a religion or belief. United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, accessed June 29, 2019. China has signed but not ratified the ICCPR. See also Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 36/55 of November 25, 1981. See also Uyghur Human Rights Project, “‘Ideological Transformation’: Records of Mass Detention from Qaraqash, Hotan,” February 2020, 1, 10, 11, 18.

[5] Mark Doman, Stephen Hutcheon, Dylan Welch, and Kyle Taylor, “China’s Frontier of Fear,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 1, 2018. See also the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00215, on Abu Talip.

[6] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2019-00230 on Memetjan Eli.

[7] Nathan VanderKlippe, “Inside China’s Campaign against the Uyghurs,” Globe and Mail, November 5, 2018. For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2019-00067 Bagdad Aken.

[8] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00205 on Salheti Haribek.

[9] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00693 on Tursun Imam and 2019-00357 on Dadihan.

[10] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00176 on Manat Hamit, and 2018-00397 on Zheniskhan Baghdal.

[11] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00577 on Nurjan Mehmet.

[12] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2019-00417 on Abdulla Abdurahman and 2017-00324 on Mahathir Halaman.

[13] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2017-00306 on Okan and 2019-00414 on Qadir Rehim.

[14] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00146 on Exmet Islam.

[15] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00155 on Patigul Dawut.

[16] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00645 on Abdughappar Abdurusul.

[17] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2019-00181 on Helil Hashim and 2019-00182 on Merdan Helil.

[18] “Interview: ‘They Detained Her Because She Had Studied Islam in a Foreign Country,’” Radio Free Asia, October 3, 2018. For more information on Muyesser Muhemmet, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00626. See also the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00157 on Buzeynep Abdureshit, 2018-00594 on Ilham Qari Memetjan, and 2019-00076 on Aken Kemieli.

[19] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00270 on Jewlan, 2019-00420 on Tursun Barat, 2018-00313 on Erfan Hezimjan, and 2019-00387 on Zahirshah Ablimit. See also Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020; Human Rights Watch “‘Eradicating Ideological Viruses’: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims,” September 9, 2018.

[20] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00586 on Asiye Muhemmet Salih, and 2018-00590 on Nurmemet Hajim.

[21] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00153 on Hesen Imin.

[22] Li Zaili, “15 Years in Prison for a Social Media Post,” Bitter Winter, October 6, 2018.

[23] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00301 on Mehray Jume and 2018-00303 on Nijat Eli.

[24] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00305 on Memet Naway and 2019-00078 on Maidina Aken.

[25] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2018-00071 on Serek Yelsik and 2018-00567 on Nurdalit Ebrey.

[26] For more information, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database records 2018-00352 on Seidiehmet Yunus, 2018-00363 on Ehet Sulaiman, 2018-00382 on Gheyret Abdurahman, and 2018-00395 on Nurimangul Memet.

[27] See e.g. Human Rights Watch, “China,” in World Report 2019: Events of 2018, 2019, 142; Amnesty International et al., “Joint Statement Calling for Xinjiang Resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council,” February 13, 2019; Adrian Zenz, “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Long-Term Scheme of Coercive Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang,” Journal of Political Risk, 7, no. 12, (December 10, 2019): 1, 12; Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, “Exposed: China’s Operating Manuals for Mass Internment and Arrest by Algorithm,” International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 24, 2019; Amy Qin, “In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared,” New York Times, December 28, 2019; Uyghur Human Rights Project, “Universal Children’s Day 2018: China Must Reunite Uyghur Children and Parents. Forcible Placement of Children of Living Parents in State-Run Facilities Constitutes a Crime Against Humanity,” November 19, 2018; Emily Feng, “Uighur Children Fall Victim to China Anti-Terror Drive,” Financial Times, July 16, 2018; Adrian Zenz, “Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang,” Jamestown Foundation, June 2020, 1-3, 10-12, 15-16; “China Cuts Uighur Births With IUDs, Abortion, Sterilization,” Associated Press, June 29, 2020.

[28] Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing, and Christo Buschek, “China Secretly Built a Vast New Infrastructure to Imprison Muslims,” Buzzfeed News, August 27, 2020; Nathan Ruser, “Documenting Xinjiang’s Detention System,” International Cyber Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, September 24, 2020, 3.

[29] Nathan Ruser et al., “Cultural Erasure,” Australian Strategic Policy Institute, September 24, 2020. See also, Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy, “China Is Erasing Mosques and Precious Shrines in Xinjiang,” New York Times, September 25, 2020.

[30] National Bureau of Statistics, “Zhongguo 2010 nian renkou pucha ciliao” [Tabulation on the 2010 Population Census of China], accessed October 21, 2020, 1.6.

[31] The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has the highest concentration of Hui, who make up over a third of the population. National Bureau of Statistics, “Zhongguo 2010 nian renkou pucha ciliao” [Tabulation on the 2010 Population Census of China], accessed October 21, 2020, 1.6.

[32] Dru C. Gladney, “Islam in China: Accommodation or Separatism?,” The China Quarterly, no. 174 (2003), 453, 461.

[33] See e.g. Gerry Shih, “‘Boiling Us Like Frogs’: China’s Clampdown on Muslims Creeps into the Heartland, Finds New Targets,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019; Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019; Kiyo Dörrer, “The Hui—China’s Preferred Muslims?,” Deutsche Welle, December 9, 2016.

[34] Dru C. Gladney, “Islam in China: Accommodation or Separatism?,” The China Quarterly, no. 174 (2003), 461.

[35] Andrew Jacobs, “Light Government Touch Lets China’s Hui Practice Islam in the Open,” New York Times, February 1, 2016. See also Jonathan Kaiman, “In China, Rise of Salafism Fosters Suspicion and Division Among Muslims,” Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2016; Brent Crane, “A Tale of Two Chinese Muslim Minorities,” Diplomat, August 22, 2014.

[36] James Leibold, “Creeping Islamophobia: China’s Hui Muslims in the Firing Line,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, June 20, 2016; Sarah Cook, Freedom House, “The Battle for China's Spirit: Religious Revival, Repression, and Resistance under Xi Jinping,” February 28, 2017, 79.

[37] Sarah Cook, Freedom House, “The Battle for China's Spirit: Religious Revival, Repression, and Resistance under Xi Jinping,” February 28, 2017, 69.

[38] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of December 10, 1948, art. 18, 19; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of December 16, 1966, entry into force March 23, 1976, art. 18, 19. Article 18 of the ICCPR upholds a person’s right to “have or adopt a religion or belief” and the freedom to manifest that religion or belief “in worship, observance, practice and teaching.” Article 18 also prohibits coercion that impairs an individual’s freedom to freely hold or adopt a religion or belief. United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, accessed June 29, 2019. China has signed but not ratified the ICCPR. See also Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 36/55 of November 25, 1981.

[39] See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2020-00189 on Ma Like.

[40] See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2020-00215 on Mou Guojian.

[41] See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2017-00325 on Huang Shike. See also Benbo Li (pseudonym), “Released from Xinjiang Camps but Forced to Lie About Them,” Bitter Winter, February 24, 2020.

[42] Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020.

[43] See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2020-00233 on Ma Zhengxiu.

[44] Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020.

[45] Dui Hua Foundation, “NGO Submission for the Universal Periodic Review of the People’s Republic of China,” March 2018.

[46] Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020; Human Rights Watch, “‘Eradicating Ideological Viruses,’” September 9, 2018.

[47] Gene A. Bunin, “Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs,” Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020; “‘Hoe Whatsapp me een maand strafkamp kostte’” [“How WhatsApp cost me a month in a prison camp”], De Standaard, November 27, 2019.

[48] Darren Byler, “Do Coercive Reeducation Technologies Actually Work?” Los Angeles Review of Books (blog), January 6, 2020. For more information on Vera Yueming Zhou, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database Record 2020-00231.

[49] See CECC, 2018 Annual Report, October 10, 2018, 273–83; CECC, 2019 Annual Report, November 18, 2019, 266–275.

[50] Ian Johnson, “How the State Is Co-Opting Religion in China,” Foreign Affairs, January 7, 2019; Chun Han Wong, “China Applies Xinjiang’s Policing Lessons to Other Muslim Areas,” Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2018; Nectar Gan, “Chinese Hui Mosque Protest Ends after Authorities Promise to Consult Community,” South China Morning Post, August 15, 2018; James Palmer, “China’s Muslims Brace for Attacks,” Foreign Policy, December 30, 2019; Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019; Steven Lee Myers, “A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading across China,” New York Times, September 22, 2019; Gerry Shih, “‘Boiling Us Like Frogs’: China’s Clampdown on Muslims Creeps into the Heartland, Finds New Targets,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019.

[51] Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019.

[52] See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2019-00102 on Ma Chengcai.

[53] “China Detains Hui Muslim Poet Who Spoke Out against Xinjiang Camps,” Radio Free Asia, January 27, 2020; PEN America, “China’s Detention of Muslim Poet Is Attempt to Silence Opposition,” February 5, 2020; For more information on Cui Haoxin, see the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2020-00071.

[54] Emily Feng, “China Targets Muslim Scholars and Writers With Increasingly Harsh Restrictions,” NPR, November 21, 2020.

[55] Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019.

[56] Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019.

[57] “Dozens Detained as Muslims Resist Mosque Closures in China’s Yunnan,” Radio Free Asia, December 31, 2018.

[58] Emily Feng, “China Targets Muslim Scholars and Writers With Increasingly Harsh Restrictions,” NPR, November 21, 2020.

[59] See CECC, 2018 Annual Report, October 10, 2018, 273–83; CECC, 2019 Annual Report, November 18, 2019, 266–275.

[60] “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019. For a discussion of the implementation of policies and restrictions on Hui communities’ faith and culture, see CECC, 2019 Annual Report, November 18, 2019, 109–10, 118–19.

[61] “Zhongguo zhengfu yiqing hou chongxin kaishi chaichu qingzhensi biaozhi” [Following the epidemic, Chinese government restarts demolition of symbols at mosques], Radio Free Asia, April 7, 2020; Steven Lee Myers, “A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading across China,” New York Times, September 22, 2019; Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019; Tingming Koe, “Fighting ‘Pan-Halal Tendency’: Three Chinese Provinces Abolish Halal Food Identification Standards,” FoodNavigator-Asia, January 24, 2019; “Gansu Removes 4 Halal-Linked Standards to Curb Religious Extremism,” Global Times, December 17, 2018; Ma Xiagu (pseudonym), “Mosques ‘Sinicized’ in Ningxia Region, Jilin and Henan Provinces,” Bitter Winter, August 7, 2020.

[62] A 2017 Freedom House report indicated that religious persecution among the Hui was “low” but with “intensified restrictions.” Sarah Cook, Freedom House, “The Battle for China's Spirit: Religious Revival, Repression, and Resistance under Xi Jinping,” February 2017, 69; For news reports in 2019 and 2020 indicating an increase in restrictions on Islam among the Hui, see Gerry Shih, “‘Boiling Us like Frogs’: China’s Clampdown on Muslims Creeps into the Heartland, Finds New Targets,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019; Emily Feng, “China Targets Muslim Scholars And Writers With Increasingly Harsh Restrictions,” NPR, November 21, 2020; Li Wensheng, “Mosque ‘Sinicization’ Campaign Surged Amid the Pandemic,” Bitter Winter, June 8, 2020; “China’s Ningxia to ‘Learn From’ Xinjiang’s Anti-Terror Campaign,” Radio Free Asia, December 3, 2020.

[63] Amnesty International, “People’s Republic of China Uighurs Fleeing Persecution as China Wages Its ‘War on Terror,’” ASA 17/021/200, July 6, 2004, 10; “Opportunism in the Face of Tragedy: Repression in the Name of Anti-Terrorism,” Human Rights Watch, accessed November 24, 2020; Adrien Morin, “Is China’s Counterterrorism Policy in Xinjiang Working?,” Diplomat, February 23, 2017; Beina Xu, Holly Fletcher, and Jayshree Bajoria, “The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM),” Council on Foreign Relations, September 4, 2014. For a discussion on the evolution of the People’s Republic of China’s terrorism policies, see Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua, CNA Analysis & Solutions, “China’s Response to Terrorism,” June 2016.

[64] Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua, CNA Analysis & Solutions, “China’s Response to Terrorism,” June 2016, 4, 5.

[65] Raymond Zhong, “China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App,” New York Times, July 2, 2019; UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Concluding Observations on the Combined Fourteenth to Seventeenth Periodic Reports of China (Including Hong Kong, China and Macao, China), adopted by the Committee at its 2672nd, 2673rd, 2674th and 2675th meetings (August 24, 27, 28, 2018), CERD/C/CHN/CO/14-17, September 19, 2018, para. 40(a); Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2019: China (Hong Kong and Macau),” accessed October 27, 2020; Sarah Cook, Freedom House, “The Battle for China's Spirit: Religious Revival, Repression, and Resistance under Xi Jinping,” February 2017, 69, 70; Amnesty International, “Annual Report: China 2013,” May 17, 2013.

[66] UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Concluding Observations on the Combined Fourteenth to Seventeenth Periodic Reports of China (Including Hong Kong, China and Macao, China), adopted by the Committee at its 2672nd, 2673rd, 2674th and 2675th meetings (August 24, 27, 28, 2018), CERD/C/CHN/CO/14-17, September 19, 2018, para. 40(a). See also Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua, CNA Analysis & Solutions, “China’s Response to Terrorism,” June 2016, 30.

[67] Sarah Cook, Freedom House, “The Battle for China's Spirit: Religious Revival, Repression, and Resistance under Xi Jinping,” February 28, 2017, 9, 19; See also Amnesty International, “People’s Republic of China Uighurs Fleeing Persecution as China Wages Its ‘War on Terror,’” ASA 17/021/200, July 6, 2004, 4, 5.

[68] Gerry Shih, “Unfettered Online Hate Speech Fuels Islamophobia in China,” Associated Press, April 9, 2017; Ma Xiagu [pseud.], “Islam ‘Sinicized’ Further in Ningxia after President Xi’s Visit,” September 3, 2020; James Leibold, “Creeping Islamophobia: China’s Hui Muslims in the Firing Line,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, June 20, 2016.

[69] National Bureau of Statistics, “Zhongguo 2010 nian renkou pucha ciliao” [Tabulation on the 2010 Population Census of China], accessed October 21, 2020, 1-6.

[70] Gerry Shih, “‘Boiling Us Like Frogs’: China’s Clampdown on Muslims Creeps into the Heartland, Finds New Targets,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019; Viola Zhou, “Why China’s Hui Muslims Fear They’re Next To Face Crackdown on Religion,” South China Morning Post, March 11, 2017.

[71] Gerry Shih, “Unfettered Online Hate Speech Fuels Islamophobia in China,” Associated Press, April 9, 2017.

[72] Jonathan Kaiman, “In China, Rise of Salafism Fosters Suspicion and Division among Muslims,” Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2016; Andrew Jacobs, “Light Government Touch Lets China’s Hui Practice Islam in the Open,” New York Times, February 1, 2016. See also James Leibold, “Creeping Islamophobia: China’s Hui Muslims in the Firing Line,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, June 20, 2016.

[73] National Bureau of Statistics, “Zhongguo 2010 nian renkou pucha ciliao” [Tabulation on the 2010 Population Census of China], accessed October 21, 2020, 1-6; Brent Crane, “A Tale of Two Chinese Muslim Minorities,” The Diplomat, August 22, 2014.

[74] Ningxia Dang Wei Zhengfa Wei deng bumen fu Xinjiang kaocha duijie fankong weiwen gongzuo,” [Ningxia Party Committee, Political and Legal Committee and other departments travel to Xinjiang to investigate and join with anti-terrorism and stability maintenance work], Ningxia Daily, November 27, 2018;

[75] Ji Yuqiao, “Ningxia Learns from Xinjiang How to Fight Terrorism,” Global Times, November 27, 2018; “Ningxia Dang Wei Zhengfa Wei deng bumen fu Xinjiang kaocha duijie fankong weiwen gongzuo,” [Ningxia Party Committee, Political and Legal Committee and other departments travel to Xinjiang to investigate and join with anti-terrorism and stability maintenance work], Ningxia Daily, November 27, 2018.

[76] “Ningxia Dang Wei Zhengfa Wei deng Bumen fu Xinjiang kaocha duijie fankong weiwen gongzuo,” [Ningxia Party Committee, Political and Legal Committee and other departments travel to Xinjiang to investigate and join with anti-terrorism and stability maintenance work] Ningxia Daily, November 27, 2018; “Treasury Sanctions Chinese Entity and Officials Pursuant to Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 9, 2020. See Also Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, “Exposed: China’s Operating Manuals for Mass Internment and Arrest by Algorithm,” International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 24, 2019.

[77] “Jiang woguo zongjiao zhongguohua chixu tuixiang shenru—Quanguo Zhengxie ‘Xin Shidai Jianchi Woguo Zongjiao Zhongguohua Fangxiang De Shijian Lujing’ Jie Bie Zhuti Xieshang Zuotan Hui zongshu” [Continue to deepen the sinicization of religion in China—a summary of the National Symposium on the Theme of the CPPCC’s “New Era of Adhering to the Practical Path of Our Nation’s Religious Sinicization”], People’s Political and Legal News, reprinted in National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, January 7, 2019.

[78] John Dotson, “Propaganda Themes at the CPPCC Stress the ‘Sinicization’ of Religion,” China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, April 9, 2019, 4. See also Miao Zi and Le Ran, “Xi Jinping Demands ‘Firm Resistance Against Illegal Religious Infiltration’” [Xi jinping yaoqiu “jianjue diyu feifa zongjiao shentou”], Reuters, reprinted in Deutsche Welle, July 21, 2016; United Front Work Department, “How To View the National Conference on Religious Work? The First Collection of Statements From the Five Major Religious Organizations!” [Quanguo zongjiao gongzuo huiyi zenme kan? wu da zongjiao tuanti shouci jiti fasheng!], reprinted in Zhejiang Islamic Association, May 25, 2016.

[79] Nectar Gan, “Beijing Plans to Continue Tightening Grip on Christianity and Islam as China Pushes Ahead with the ‘Sinicisation of Religion,’” South China Morning Post, March 6, 2019; “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019.

[80] See e.g. “China Explores Effective Governance of Religion in Secular World,” Global Times, January 6, 2019; Steven Lee Myers, “A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading across China,” New York Times, September 22, 2019; Min Junqing, Ma Dan, Dong Saimo, “Zhongguo yi xie zhaokai “‘jianchi woguo yisilan jiao zhongguo hua fangxiang wu nian gongzuo guihua gangyao’ yantao hui” [China Islamic Association convenes seminar on “Working Outline on the Five Year Plan of the Sinicization of Islam in China”], China Islamic Association, January 5, 2020; “Zhonggong Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui guanyu shen ru xuexi guanche Xi Jinping zongshuji shicha Ningxia zhongyao jianghua jingshen jixu jianshe jingji fanrong minzu tuanjie huanjing youmei renmin fuyu de meili xin Ningxia de jueding” [Communist Party Committee of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region decision on deepening the study and implementation of the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s inspection of Ningxia and important speeches to continue building an environment of economic prosperity, ethnic unity, beautiful environment, prosperous people, and a beautiful new Ningxia], Ningxia Daily, reprinted in CPC News, July 28, 2020.

[81] David R. Stroup, “The De-Islamification of Public Space and Sinicization of Ethnic Politics in Xi’s China,” Middle East Institute, September 24, 2019; Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019; Li Wensheng, “Mosque ‘Sinicization’ Campaign Surged Amid the Pandemic,” Bitter Winter, June 8, 2020. “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019.

[82] Emily Feng, “‘Afraid We Will Become the Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown,” NPR, September 26, 2019.

[83] Dru C. Gladney, “Muslim Tombs and Ethnic Folklore: Charters for Hui Identity,” Journal of Asian Studies 46, no. 3 (1987), 507; Kelsey Cheng, Agence France Presse, “China’s ‘Little Mecca’: The Far-Flung City Where Muslims Have Lived for Hundreds of Years, Now Faces a Religious Crackdown from Beijing,” Daily Mail, July 16, 2018.

[84] Jonathan Kaiman, “In China, Rise of Salafism Fosters Suspicion and Division among Muslims,” Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2016; “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019.

[85] Alice Su, “China’s New Campaign to Make Muslims Devoted to the State Rather than Islam,” Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2020; “Gansu Linxia yi qingzhensi zao qiangchai duo ren bei ju” [A mosque in Linxia, Gansu, is demolished, many people are detained], Radio Free Asia, April 12, 2019; William Yang, “Zhongguo xu tui Yisilan Hanhua Gansu qingzhensi zao ‘mieding’” [China continues Hanification of Islam, Gansu mosque “extinguished”], Deutsche Welle, April 12, 2019.

[86] “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019; Steven Lee Myers, “A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across China,” New York Times, September 22, 2019.

[87] “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019; Gerry Shih, “‘Boiling Us Like Frogs’: China’s Clampdown on Muslims Creeps into the Heartland, Finds New Targets,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019. See also Liu Caiyu, “Gansu Removes 4 Halal-Linked Standards to Curb Religious Extremism,” Global Times, December 17, 2018.

[88] Alice Su, “China’s New Campaign to Make Muslims Devoted to the State Rather than Islam,” Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2020.

[89] “China’s Repression of Islam Is Spreading beyond Xinjiang,” The Economist, September 26, 2019; Alice Su, “China’s New Campaign to Make Muslims Devoted to the State Rather than Islam,” Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2020.